I had to let a product manager go once because he just did not have the influencing skills necessary to do his job. He was intelligent, thoughtful, articulate, hard-working and motivated, but he never quite understood that he was supposed to provide direction, rather than receive it.Read More
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a simple system for aligning teams around common objectives. OKRs are hot right now, but there are caveats. They can quickly drive a firm into a narrow fixation on business results, unethical behavior, and short-term outcomes that can eventually undermine the business itself.Read More
Engineers are rightfully afraid of providing estimates for things they don’t know enough about. If they’ve been around the block, they’ve probably been burned by a wild-ass guess that turned into a commitment to a date when someone in management got hold of it.Read More
Is it ever OK to compromise on quality? Surprisingly, yes.
You have a mountain of tasks to get done as a Product person (or in life). Where to begin? Here's my formula:
(Value ÷ Effort) x Confidence = PriorityRead More
What is your Kryptonite? In your org, what stands between you and victory? What saps your strength and renders your roadmap impotent? Let us know.Read More
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a worldwide phenomenon, helping to drive the success of organizations like Google, Zynga, Oracle and Twitter. They are particularly suited to driving the alignment for a high-performing cross-functional Product team.Read More
Sometimes stakeholders don't get along. Or their view of the product doesn't match. Or their priorities don't jive. That's where Shuttle Diplomacy goes a long way. I like to meet with stakeholders individually as I'm drafting a new roadmap. Then we meet all together for final buy in.Read More
How can a Product person justify changing a roadmap midstream? Won’t customers, partners, salespeople, the board, etc. expect you to deliver on the roadmap commitments?Read More
“How do product teams really know the right thing to build? Many products aren’t successful because teams haven’t done enough problem discovery and validation with customers. Those processes need to be a part of a product team’s culture.”
My favorite product tool is Google Docs. I use it for interview notes, meeting agendas, personas, product charters, OKRs, and more. I like it because it makes any document collaborative. People can edit and comment on the same document simultaneously from anywhere in the world.Read More
Outputs are the specific changes your team is making to your product or service to improve things for your customers and your business.
Outcomes are what you are hoping for as a result of those outputs.
A lot of organizations balk at hiring Agile coaches (aka scrum masters) for every team. They find it hard to justify that many people who aren’t coding, designing, or figuring out what’s next. I agree.
Product people are often elected to jump in and do whatever it takes to make their product successful. In addition to product I've pinch hit in UX, agile coaching, engineering management, ops, business development -- you name itRead More
The best boss I ever had trusted me with everything. He taught me everything about product culture by giving me the mission and letting me loose to figure out what was necessary for myself. John Wang went on to become CMO of HTC and Chairman of Noodoe. Thanks, John.Read More
Product culture is spreading.
The idea that making people awesome is at the center of success;
The idea that we should put all of our effort to build, test, and learn into achieving that outcome sustainably;
The idea that we need to entrust small, diverse teams with that effort and hold them accountable;
...these ideas are accelerating.Read More
Some would argue we are living in a post-Agile world. Some say SAFe and LeSS are ruining Agile. Some say it was never that great and we are outgrowing it.
Are you a strict Agile Product person? Are you a kinda-sorta Agile Product person? When do you deviate? Why?
"Roadmaps get a lot of flak. They are often blamed for unrealistic deadlines and death marches. For missing market opportunities, and for building features that are out-of-date before any code is even written," says Janna Bastow, cofounder of Mind the Product. "No Roadmap Survives Contact with Reality," is a common product refrain.Read More
Be the one who brings the light of knowledge of market needs to the organization. As a product person, that's core to your value. Shed that light on inside-out thinking and it will illuminate your roadmap to success.Read More